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January 17, 2013
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  Top Story 
  • Childhood vaccine schedule is safe, IOM says
    A report released by the Institute of Medicine showed no evidence that following the federally recommended childhood immunization schedule can lead to chronic diseases or developmental disorders. "The message is that the schedule is safe by all existing data," said Dr. Pauline Thomas, an IOM adviser. CDC's guideline calls for 24 vaccinations by age 2 and allows children to get up to five vaccines in one office visit, but data indicate that up to 40% of parents follow alternative vaccine timetables for fear of adverse reactions. USA Today (1/16) , Reuters (1/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Clinical News 
  • Novel influenza vaccine gets federal approval
    Protein Sciences has received FDA approval for its new flu vaccine, called Flublok, for patients ages 18 to 49. The vaccine, which is made using an insect virus expression system and genetic technology, "offers the potential for faster start-up of the vaccine manufacturing process in the event of a pandemic, because it is not dependent on an egg supply or on availability of the influenza virus," according to an FDA official. HealthDay News (1/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • High red meat intake linked to risk of stroke in men
    Men of normal weight who ate the most red meat, falling in the top quintile of heme iron intake, faced a 40% higher risk of total stroke and 38% higher risk of cerebral infarction than those in the lowest quintile, a study found. The results appear in the journal Stroke. (1/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Practice Management 
  • Facilitators, care managers may help improve primary care quality
    A report in the Annals of Family Medicine stressed that facilitators and care managers may help primary care teams advance their quality improvement efforts. Facilitators may oversee QI activities, provide staff with data management training and increase capacity for QI, while care managers may help evaluate patients' needs, provide information and promote self-management, researchers noted. (1/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Health Policy & Legislation 
  • Millions in Medicare breast cancer screening costs may be ill-spent
    A Yale University study of Medicare expenditures for breast cancer screening and related care showed $410.6 million was spent yearly on women ages 75 or older, even though guidelines from the AAFP and the U.S Preventive Services Task Force state there is not enough evidence to assess the benefits or risks of mammography in that age group. The online report in JAMA Internal Medicine said screening costs varied by region and often were linked to use of new and more expensive technology. AAFP News Now (1/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Analysis: Medicaid expansion is supported by 22 governors
    An analysis in the New England Journal of Medicine found that at least 22 U.S. governors, including the Republican governors of North Dakota, New Mexico, Nevada and Arizona, back Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. Another 15 governors were undecided, but decisions are expected soon as they propose new budgets. Reuters (1/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Ala. Medicaid commission votes for community-based primary care
    The Alabama Medicaid Advisory Commission voted to recommend the state use community primary care case management rather than a statewide managed care plan to control spending. Jim Carnes of the advocacy group Alabama Arise supported the vote, saying a community model would provide more patient-centered care. (Alabama) (1/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Professional Issues & Trends 
  • Fewer PAs opt for primary care setting, study finds
    The number of physician assistants practicing in a primary care setting decreased from 50.8% in 1996 to 31% in 2010, according to a study in the Annals of Family Medicine. Researchers said age, gender and race appear to play a role in a PA's decision to opt for primary care practice. (1/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Inside the AAFP 
  • As flu reaches epidemic proportions, protect yourself and your patients
    The AAFP is one of many health care organizations that support mandatory flu vaccinations for health care workers. Still, the CDC estimates that fewer than 65% of health care workers are immunized against the flu each year. Ravi Grivois-Shah, M.D., M.P.H., the new physician member of the AAFP board of directors, offers an update on the nation's flu epidemic -- and what you can do about it -- in the latest AAFP Leader Voices Blog. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Admiration is a very short-lived passion that immediately decays upon growing familiar with its object; unless it be still fed with fresh discoveries, and kept alive by a perpetual succession of miracles rising into view."
--Joseph Addison,
British writer and politician

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This news roundup is provided as a timely update to AAFP members and other health care professionals about family medicine topics in the news media. Links to articles are provided for the convenience of family physicians who may find them of use in discussions with patients or colleagues. Opinions expressed in AAFP SmartBrief are those of the identified authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or policies of the American Academy of Family Physicians. On occasion, media articles may include or imply incorrect information about the AAFP and its policies, positions or relationships. For clarification on AAFP positions and policies, we refer you to

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